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Old 03-12-2015, 05:27 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 10
before I start...

Ok guys here's my story. I'm 26 married to a beautiful and understanding wife and our 4yo son. I've been stuck in dead end temp jobs and never getting anywhere in life. I've learned the true definition of insanity is to do the same thing every day expecting a diff rent outcome. .. it's not changing. I just need a change of pace. Before i can do anything we have to move in with family so that we can afford it. I've wanted to do the whole conversion thing for awhile now but before I do I want to know the answers to all the little questions that I have. So I've been scanning the forums and you guys are awesome. I have so many questions floating around but I'll try to put them in order. lol first how long is a school bus from behind the drivers seat to the back wall? Next to I have to put in flooring or can I use the floor as is? how do you heat it can I use a wood stove? Those should give you an idea of where I'm at and thanks if you made it this far in reading the post. - New Beginnings
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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They're all different lengths. Pro tip I just learned: window counting is a better measure when looking at a listing than hoping they'll tell you the length. You'll see occasional posts here about "14-window" models, etc.

You can use the floor as-is but almost nobody recommends that. It's the source of much of a lot of the smell, and it's basically uninsulated. Many pull it up to look for and fix rust issues (but not all).

Wood stoves are great heating options. I'm going with sort of an insane plan with a bunch of heat sources and in-floor radiant, but if I wasn't, I would TOTALLY do a wood stove. My personal favorites are the mini Jotul 118 and the GrayStove.com one. Poke around - somebody else here just bought that one and has commented on it.

You're going to find there are lots of opinions here and no "right" answers. It's a very personal path and all the choices are yours. Although plenty of people will tell you you're wrong anyway.

Welcome! Where are you located?
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:27 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 10
Thanks for advice, it's very appreciated. I looked at the stoves you mentioned it seems feasible. I'm outta northwest arkansas. The next question I have is where to get the bus lol craigslist is where I've been scanning bit open to other cheapest options. Oh by the way I was also thinking a rocket stove for radiant heat with running the ducts along the base boards
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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You mentioned a 4yr old so my first thought is about safety and what is best for him and for your wife. Whatever you decide on, keep them in mind. This can become a runaway train that you throw money at. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:51 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyBus View Post
You mentioned a 4yr old so my first thought is about safety and what is best for him and for your wife. Whatever you decide on, keep them in mind. This can become a runaway train that you throw money at. Just my 2 cents.
We've talked it over several time she's behind me 100 percent and the boy love the idea of it plus there's the home school option and it will not be a completely permanent thing just for a year or two.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:36 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
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Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I currently live with only coal / wood heat. I have lived with wood stove heat for most of my 32 years of life.

Rocket stoves are great small, high output, stoves as long as your right beside them to keep feeding the fuel into the fuel feed.

They are useless at keeping you warm through the night.

You could set up a rocket stove to heat a old gas powered hot water heater, then use the heated water to run your radiant heat. This would force you to babysit the system for a few hours a day minimum.

In reality, sizing a wood stove starts with how long you want the stove to burn without having to reload, not how much heat you need.

Bigger stove = bigger chunks of wood = longer burn time.

Small stove = small pieces of wood = getting up in the night to load the stove. This gets real old, real fast.

Three days ago I set a 45 pound chunk of coal in my stove at bedtime. This morning it was still burning. I got three nights of sleep without having to get up in the night.

My stove has a fire box 24 inches long, by 12 inches wide, by 14 inches high. It is 34 years old and also heated my family home growing up.

Nat
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:46 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Thanks Natl much appreciated advice. Now I have one more question then I'm off to beg my mother to let us move in so I can get started on my skoolie. Hot water for showers I'll have a pump running from the tank but do I need another one after the hot water to pump it to the shower. Or will the system pressurize it self. The wife insists on hot water me I'm fine with a cold one but happy wife happy life right.
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:12 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Water only needs one pump to pressurize it.

This is done at the outlet from the fresh water holding tank. Then the water gets branched off to the cold taps, and into the hot water heater.

Nat
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:14 PM   #9
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An RV water pump will give you decent water pressure but nothing like city water flow. If if there's a city water hookup where you're going to be parking you can tap into that and get that nice aggressive shower spray that you get at home.
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:22 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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You only need one pump. 30psi moves plenty of water and doesn't need any boosting unless you're going up floors in an apartment building. If anything, you'll want something like a low-flow shower head to save water. I'm a fan of the Oxygenics, myself.

But if you have the cash and want to buy another, a water pump is one of the spare parts I carry. We camp a lot in places kind of away from civilization. Nothing sucks more than having 60 gallons of water in your tank that you can't USE because the pump doesn't work - and not having a spare. Pumps are cheap. Just IMO...
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